The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has introduced a campaign to cut down on the amount of dust construction workers are exposed to while at work.
Earlier this month (January), it announced its #DustBuster initiative, highlighting the dangers of working closely with dust and how employers need to mitigate the health risks involved.
It emphasised the fact that 3,500 builders die every year as a result of cancers they have developed due to their work.
Head of campaigns and marketing at HSE David Harrison was quoted by PR Week as saying: “The #DustBuster campaign aims to influence employer behaviour using the visit of inspectors as a motivator for builders to download free advice and guidance, which will in turn increase their knowledge and capability to protect workers’ health.”
The intention of the initiative is to encourage companies to improve their health and safety practices, such as by having an incident response plan.
HSE inspectors will be increasing their visits to construction sites around the UK over the next few months to check whether employers have put measures in place to protect workers from dust exposure. They will also be asking employees if they understand the health risks, are using the right controls, and are planning their work safely.
The organisation is also encouraging builders to download selfie cards with important messages, such as ‘I #WorkRight so I don’t die young’ and ‘I #WorkRight because I want to enjoy my retirement’, which they can then share on social media.
The HSE hopes that by spreading the message, it will make both workers and bosses take proactive measures in staying safe on construction sites.